A&E’s ultimate guide to local farmers markets

A&E gives you all you need to know about a handful of local farmers’ markets — where to spend your weekend in the Cities, where to buy your in-season blueberries and where to snag that heirloom sage plant.

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Audrey Rauth

The bustling Mill City Farmers Market attracts a crowd on Saturday, June 19 in Minneapolis, Minn. Mill City Farmers Market happens every Saturday from May to October.

Grace Davis

An exciting part of a Minnesota summer is the abundance of farmers markets the Twin Cities has to offer. Whether it’s a self-started herbal remedy company or a family-owned coffee vendor with beans delivered weekly from their family’s farm in Guatemala, these local farmers and artisans have been waiting for this summer to showcase and sell all their hard work.

The Twin Cities has a lot of different en plein air shopping experiences with unique qualities and neighborhoods. A&E gives you the rundown on just a handful of these markets to add to your to-do list this summer.

St. Paul Farmers Market — $

Every Saturday from 7 a.m to 1 p.m & Sunday from 8 a.m to 1 p.m

290 East 5th St, Saint Paul

Just blocks away from the Mississippi River and the St. Paul Saints’ CHS field, the St. Paul Farmers Market greets you with an abundance of magnolias, poppies and the smell of fresh, buttery pastries every weekend.

The St. Paul Farmers Market is a happy medium of busy, but not overwhelming, energy. At the market you can find a variety of products from salsa, jams, pasta, hot sauces, chocolates, cheeses, eggs — basically any craving you’re having, they got it. It would take a lot of willpower to leave this market empty handed. 

An honorable mention for produce vendors goes out to Edgie’s Veggies. Fan favorites of theirs are the pea shoots and radishes, perfect on an avocado toast or fresh salad.

After an hour of hanging out at the St. Paul Farmers Market, Isabella Azzaro and Kate Johnson, rising third-years at the University of Minnesota, made their way to Mears Park where they planned to have an afternoon picnic with fresh pastries and iced coffees purchased from the market. 

“It’s such a different experience getting to actually meet the person who actually grew and made the food we’re eating,” Azzaro said.

Mill City Farmers Market — $$

Every Saturday from 8 a.m to 1 p.m

704 S 2nd St, Minneapolis

Abutting the Guthrie Theater and Stone Arch Bridge, the Mill City Farmers Market is a prime location for spending an afternoon in the heart of Minneapolis.

Besides the location being enough of a reason to make the trip, the Mill City Farmers Market develops a theme every week with speakers and demonstrations on everything from planting, raising urban chickens and cooking. Follow their Instagram for updates.

A vendor to check out is Ever Wild Herbal Company, a women-owned body care company founded in 2016 by farmer and maker Gina Kuhn. Kuhn creates and sells bath and beauty products like serums, lotions, salves, essential oils and botanical herbal remedies grown and processed locally. 

Aayush Patkar, a rising third-year at the University, appreciates this market in particular because “everyone always seems happy to be there.”

After the market, folks like to head to Gold Medal Park to sit on the grass hill and indulge in their new purchases.

Minneapolis Farmers Market on Lyndale Avenue — $

Daily from 6 a.m to 1 p.m

312 East Lyndale Ave North, Minneapolis

The Minneapolis and Nicollet Mall Farmers Markets are the largest farmer managed markets in the state, with the flagship Lyndale location having up to 170 vendors on the weekends. If you prefer a more intimate experience with vendors and browsing with less people, going during a weekday is recommended, as the weekends get fairly busy. 

According to Minnesota Grown, the produce that are in season now are beets, carrots, cauliflower, blueberries, cucumbers, herbs, peppers, potatoes, raspberries, summer squash, sweet corn and tomatoes. 

The early bird gets the worm when it comes to getting the pickings, so make sure to bring your grocery list to stock up on these fresh goodies while you can. With loads of affordable produce options and  farmers who are ready to answer your questions about how their products market, the market provides an education and enriching market experience.

Linden Hills Farmers Market — $

Every Sunday from 10 a.m to 1 p.m

2813 W 43rd St, Minneapolis

A 10-minute walk from Lake Harriet, the Linden Hills Farmers Market is a great spot if you’re looking for a smaller, more intimate market experience. Occupying the Settergren Ace Hardware parking lot, this market has vendors of everything from produce, plants, meats, pastries and coffee.

Talk to the farmers at First Blush Farm & Garden about what heirloom starter plant to get for your garden — the oregano and sage are a popular option for a lot of folks.

The Biscuit Babe vendor bakes at the crack of dawn every Sunday morning to make sure there are warm, freshly made sweet and savory biscuits for the early market go-ers. 

With this market being on the smaller side, stop by one of the many surrounding lakes and take a walk, rent a paddle board and hang around until night comes and check out the Lake Harriet Bandshell for some possible outdoor live music or outdoor movie screening.